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Ups and Downs

January 4th 2015

The first few days of any project always seem to give a preview of how the rest of the project might go, at least for me.

For 2015, we are now on the fourth (4th) day. And I have been riding a proverbial rollercoaster since my Cousin passed away on the 24th of December. I wanted to talk out what I’ve been feeling, so as to allow me to come to better terms with it.

January 1st - Hope

The first of the year I would almost describe as manic. I was firing on all cylinders, got a lot done, and was very happy with myself. I’d not had any difficulties adapting to my newly chosen sleep schedule, and I was easily getting through anything life might throw at me.

Though, in the back of my mind, I knew it would not last.

I nevertheless used those emotions to throw myself into work: I composed the majority of my first piece for the year, cleaned a good portion of the apartment, reconnected with a lot of people, set a lot of plans into motion.

I had a headache, but I was able to make it to bed at a decent hour.

January 2nd - Waiting Stress

Then, I had my appointment with the car dealer’s maintenance department.

This was a 7 hour long ordeal of waiting and getting very little done. I had an appointment at 1330, and did not arrive home again until 2000. And the only work which was done was a changed battery (more on this in a minute) and an oil change.

I’d decided to take the time I might otherwise spend working or waiting at the dealership itself to have lunch with my dad. I have been working on improving my relationship with my family, ever since my cousin passed away (and even a little before). I am happy to say, at least, that that went well.

But they did not contact me until 1600 with a diagnosis- curious, of course, because the representative I’d been assigned was off for the day at 1700.

When they did, they told me that the part of my car which I’d brought it in for- the difficulty I was having starting it- was easily the battery, which was still under warranty. Good news. However, they’d unfortunately found some other problems with the car while they were inspecting it. Bad news.

Apparently, even though I’d had it in the same place less than two months ago, in that time I’d worn down the brakes, knocked it out of alignment, dirtied the filters and worn down all four tires.

I needed to make a quick call before scheduling the work, due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to cars (among other things). I was away for maybe 10 minutes, at which point I called them back to clarify a few things…

And got the answering machine, once I was connected to maintenance.

No big deal. They were probably busy, it is the beginning of a new year, after all. I left a message and proceeded to wait another ten minutes, at which point I called back.

Machine again.

Waiting ten further ten minutes, I wondered if something was wrong. I did have someone waiting for the information I was trying to get from them, so I stayed by the phone. Called again.

Machine.

I ended up calling them 5 times over the course of 50 minutes, at which point I was getting ready to ride over there, at the suggestion of my father. It was nearing the end of the work day, and I needed the car back… so I was getting a bit aggrivated at their lack of communication… but that was my fault, not theirs.

Then, I heard the phone.

Answering it, the first thing my representative said was that he was clocking out in about 7 minutes. He assured me, however, that all of the work could be done today… though none of it was, strictly, necessary. I asked if he’d still be there at the stroke of the hour, which of course he said he would be. I quickly called back my contact, getting in the car, telling them what I’d been told.

The crux of my decision was to get the brakes done today. Easy, especially if they could have done the rest of the work.

When I get there, my representative literally looked me in the eyes as he walked out of the door to clock out, saying nothing to anybody.

I then began to talk to a new representative, who began to tell me the truth- The figures I’d been given for the repairs were not true, there was no way they could fit something like brake work in at the end of the day, and (to top everything off) if I hadn’t explicitly mentioned the battery work which was supposedly already done, they would never have replaced my battery (which was the original reason I brought it in). As it stood, I had to wait there as they fit that in instead.

I was not upset about waiting so much as I was suspecting foul play. Anyone who knows me personally could tell You that I am not trusting of others. In fact, I am fairly paranoid on a regular basis.

I paid for the work, and then struck up a conversation with my new, actually-dependable representative. According to him, this was not out-of-character for my original rep, and was actually par for the course… They cover each other’s work regularaly.

I thanked him, and silently vowed never to work with my original man again. The car was indeed working now, so I tried my best to let all of that stress go.

I was, unfortunately, beat. I had no energy left after that, but I also could not find respite in a bit of sleep. Definitely the low point of the year so far.

January 3rd - Climbing Clarity

I was exhausted, leaving my bed the next morning. Lack of sleep will do that to You, but I was happy to note I was out of bed by 1000.

I found it very hard to work on much. I cooked a little, cleaned a little, and finished writing the song I’d started two days before. I did the shopping for the week, though I did not finish unloading the bags. And I put off the laundry until now, the 4th, because I was so drained.

Other than that, I basically had to relax that day. I found it very hard, as usual. Perhaps I should have done something more engaging, like a game or a movie. But I did not, instead choosing to fall asleep very early.

But that was not a bad day. It was a needed day. If I were more inclined to use marketspeak, I needed a mental holiday. And I feel much better now, for taking one.

Summary

A good day, a bad day, and a burned day. Not terribly unheard of.

If I learn (as is my goal) to set healthier limits on stress and self-care, I am sure I can skew that average more in my favor. The mere fact that I took that day mostly for myself is a sign of improvement on my part… And I am looking towards the rest of the year with open eyes, knowing this could have been a lot worse.

I have an appointment with the dealership tomorrow, to work on my breaks. I am not leaving, this time- partially because I want to bring my work this time, and partially because I am going to refuse this lasting more than 3 hours, including travel. Healthy limits.

I hope that Your year shapes up well as well. Until next time!

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